Your guide to being 27 weeks pregnant:
Just 10 weeks until your baby is full term! How do you feel?
Just 10 weeks to go until your baby reaches full term! From now until about week 30, he goes through a very active phase – his muscles are increasingly developed and his nervous system is mature enough to control some of his bodily functions. So you can look forward to your baby kicking and moving around a lot.
The rest of the time he will be sleeping. He’s settling into a sleep cycle that’s similar to what he’ll follow as a newborn: asleep during the day and awake at night! His brain is growing rapidly too and the grooves on the surface are developing. Some experts believe your baby begins to dream around now while he’s in REM sleep.
He’s practising his sucking reflex a lot now. This is important as it will help him feed effectively once he’s born. Meanwhile his muscles, organs and limbs are all formed, and throughout this final trimester he’ll be busily building up fat stores and muscle mass.
What’s happening to you
Your blood volume increases again this week. This is one of the biggest physiological changes you experience during pregnancy and by the time you reach full term it will have increased by up to 50%. The increase is needed for extra blood flow to the uterus, to meet the metabolic needs of your baby and to help your vital organs (in particular your kidneys which will grow in length by an average of 1 – 1.5cm), which are working harder than ever.
Your growing bump may get itchy as the skin stretches, but rubbing a moisturiser (cream or oil) into it at regular intervals can help.
When to check it out
If the itching is severe, has no rash, and you also experience it on your hands and feet or it gets worse at night, see your GP or midwife. Occasionally, severe itching can be a symptom of the pregnancy liver disorder obstetric cholestasis (where bile acids build up in the bloodstream). It can also be accompanied by jaundice, dark urine and pale stools, and is serious, so contact your GP or midwife if you are at all concerned.
‘To do’ this week…
Now’s a good time to cross the big items (pushchair, cot and car seat) off your nursery list before you feel a bit too big and breathless to traipse round the shops.
And while it (sadly) won’t guarantee that you never get stretchmarks, it’s worth investing in a good stretchmark cream if you haven’t already. Look for a cream that contains essential fatty acids (omegas 3, 6, and 9), as these are vital for good skin health, while vitamin E can help protect and boost your skin’s collagen.
Wow! Did you know…
By now, your baby has all his bones (there are 300 of them!). Throughout the remainder of your pregnancy they will be getting stronger and harder, and they will continue to ossify throughout the first year of life after birth.